Early news of the Arsenal line up says that Coquelin has got the nod ahead of Ramsey and Giroud has been dropped to the bench after some disappointing games for club and country. It was widely reported the in France’s 3-1 win against Belarus Giroud was booed off by his own fans and maybe Wenger is taking steps to protect the player though it could be argued he just needs a goal to get confidence and you can only score if your on the pitch.
Bringing in Wojiech for Mannone was to be expected despite keeping two clean sheets Mannone has looked shaky under crosses and with Southampton likely to whip numerous balls in today with Lambert in the box it was obvious to reinstate the Polish number 1. Mannone has shown remarkable improvement and yesterday Wenger revealed that Mannone was free to leave this summer but his recent performances ” have moved him closer to that 1st team spot”.
After a midweek 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Serbia Wales captain Ramsey will be further pained to see that Wenger has chosen Coquelin ahead of him. Coquelin will add defensive security whilst showing his ball-hawk skills in spraying the ball quickly out of defence.
The only other question ahead of today’s game was whether to put Koscielny back into centre-back, though Koscielny was by far our strongest defender last season you can easily see why Wenger has decided to stick with a defence that has managed to keep 3 clean sheets in a row.
In my personal opinion I would have put Koscielny back in ahead of Mertesacker and kept Giroud in for Gervinho but in Arsene we trust. It will be interesting to see which wings Gervinho and Chamberlain line up on but I expect them to interchange throughout the match.
On a final note Walcott on the bench again? More on that story tomorrow.
So the supposed line-up today is
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****John Cross of the mirror thinks Gervinho will be playing down the middle, I’m sure he and Podolski will interchange but be interesting to see.